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Youth of the Nation – P.O.D.

satellite by pod features Youth of the Nation, a one-hit wonder from 2001Today’s one-hit wonder is a request from reader Robert van Peer who calls “Youth of the Nation” by P.O.D. “the best one-hit wonder quality-wise in the 2000′s.”

You may disagree. I still contend that one of the greatest one-hit wonders of the 2000s is “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals.

Two very different songs there.

But regardless of opinions, “Youth of the Nation” was a compelling and arresting song when it was released in 2001 due to its inspiration: the Columbine High School shootings.

Christian metal band P.O.D. (short for Payable on Death) was in the midst of recording their album Satellite and were caught in traffic on their way to the recording studio. The reason, as the band recalls the moment: news of the Columbine shootings had broken and for a few moments, life in America seemed to slow down.

Inspired by the school shootings, P.O.D. wrote “Youth of the Nation” and it became P.O.D.’s biggest Billboard hit, when “Youth of the Nation” hit #28 on the Billboard charts and turned P.O.D. into an alternative one-hit wonder band.

Listen to Youth of the Nation by P.O.D.

Here’s another dark coincidence related to the record: Satellite was released September 11, 2001. Another dark day in American history as the twin towers in New York City fell to the ground after the terrorist attacks.

Heavy stuff here.

Pod’s “Youth of the Nation” is equally heavy and anthemic, particularly the last chorus when a crowd of kids joins P.O.D. as they sing:
We are, we are, [we are] the youth of the nation
We are, we are, [we are] the youth of the nation
We are, we are, [we are] the youth of the nation
We are, we are, [we are] the youth of the nation

Read Youth of the Nation Lyrics

There is nothing light, fluffy, bouncy or poppy about this song that follows the sad stories of two young boys and a girl through tight vignettes of their less-than-perfect lives.

While “Youth of the Nation” may be P.O.D.’s only trip to the Top 40, they have released seven albums and sold more than 10 million records. They’ve also managed to secure three Grammy Award nominations (but no wins). That’s an impressive body of work.

Click to hear more Grammy Award one-hit wonders

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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2 Responses to "Youth of the Nation – P.O.D."

  1. John Wilson says:

    Ive never really cared for this song. It always struck me as trying to be profound and deep but not really making the cut.

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Agree with you, John. Not the best song ever. But still a big anthem.

    For a really, really big anthem not sung by U2 or The Who, try “Kings and Queens” by 30 Seconds to Mars. Soaring chorus. Kids singing the final chorus. If you’re not careful, this song can give you chills or at least inspire you to sing along. It also features one of the greatest screams ever outside The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

    Listen to “Kings and Queens” by 30 Seconds to Mars

    Another band that really wants to write the great American anthem is Angels and Airwaves. Check out this post about them:

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